Skip to main content

tv   Book TV  CSPAN  April 18, 2011 7:00am-8:00am EDT

7:00 am
train schools across america. it's hard to believe you are covertly training aid foreign military force in this country but he was very shrewd. he did it under the auspices of setting up military academies. on the surface that look like a military academy to train and uplift the chinese in various cities across america. there were more than 20 cities that had 100 or more of these cadets, if you will, that had military uniforms. either way he got these military uniforms, they got surplus u.s. army uniforms. they took the buttons off with eagles and put buttons on with dragons. they took the eagles off the hat and put dragons on. from a distance you would think you are looking army soldiers. you wouldn't know from a distance. they looked like regular soldiers. and four drill instructors he tapped the fourth cavalry
7:01 am
regiment out of fort riley kansas and got a bunch of philippine war veterans to be drill masters. these people were out of the army and they got paid officers wages in this army. you had the shadow military force being erected in america. it does get investigated and there are problems that lead to its operations, if you will. but this is what homer lea was doing. the emperor of china and the empress both died in late 1908 within two days of each other. the empress is expected to have poisoned the emperor. homer lea had no affiliation or ties to restore the empire. in late 1908 he hooked up with doctor yung wing who was a very esteemed scholar, the first yale graduate in china from america and believe in reform. they put together a conspiracy
7:02 am
called the red dragon conspiracy where homer lea was going to lead a military venture on behalf of yung wing and some americans. they're going to bring in a conspiracy and take over the provinces in southern china, carve them out of the empire and start their own republic. that's pretty audacious. well, homer lea became an author as i said and one of his books and going to talk about is the valor of ignorance which got him worldwide acclaim. it talked about american defenses and boulder goes to the japanese in particular. doctor sun yat-sen who was a renowned revolution in his own right who wanted to topple them, not just reform from within, he was a friend or an associate i should say of yung wing and he said in 1910, decide to hire homer lea to be his military advisor if you will. he was bring in the red dragon conspiracy into his
7:03 am
revolutionary movement. so homer lea into becoming doctor sun yat-sen is closest adviser. homer lea with him to china expecting to be the chief of staff of the chinese army. somebody with no training, no formal military training, he had a great reputation. so now let's just advance here and homer lea, though some sensational newspaper headlines, if you will, that just gives you an idea that he was very well-known in his time and received a lot of press during his life. there he is coming back from china on the left. those other two photos, they were taken in 1904 in a chinese outfit. there is a drill instructor on the right. they're some of the trainees in california. chinese troop train.
7:04 am
there's a headline that was not supposed to be appearing showing that they were training. they're supposed to be doing this below the radar screen. there's homer lea when he was in china in 1911. he did believe he's going to have the chinese army. the u.s. government put a stop to the and told him it was against the law. he would face prosecution so he had to back off of that. he died in 1912. the three books i talked about very briefly, the person was a novel called the vermillion financial. it got pretty good reviews. the second book, a book about american defenses called "valor of ignorance." and a third book. the first book after is made into a film, a silent film. the second book had introduction written by two retired u.s. army generals.
7:05 am
dedicated to secretary of former secretary of war. made a big impression in washington. and world war ii, general macarthur and his staff were well-versed with "valor of ignorance" which talk about defending the philippines and defending california. american officers were well-versed in this, especially out in the philippines. the japanese translator. clare boothe luce was very interested in homer lea and wrote introduction to the read release of his two books and helped elevate him to the status of forgotten profit. the third book he wrote, british former commander of the british army lord roberts asked could he write a book for the british like the "valor of ignorance" that they did for the americans? and he did. so here's this other book, the germans translated. kaiser wilhelm read it. they thought it was interesting. homer lea died in 1912. he was cremated and his last
7:06 am
wishes were to be buried in china. didn't happen. his wife kept his ashes. she died in 1934. when the family donated a few papers to the hoover institution at stanford university they made it a condition to try to get the ashes to china. the mainland was out of the question, and likely a relative said come on over. they had a nice military ceremony. his ashes are currently interred in taiwan and the taiwanese government at the time said when the two chinas are reunited, the plans are to move homer lea's ashes to the mainland. so that's my quick overview of homer lea. if you're interested in people that do shape world events i think you'll find it a fascinating character. he was fastening when he was alive, and the shipping the 100 year anniversary of the republican revolution, there may
7:07 am
be some more tension -- attention paid to him and his place in history, so thank you. [applause] >> i'd like the lights up right now, and don't worry about what's on the screen, gentlemen with the cameras come if you don't mind. i want to talk to for a moment before we get into the slides. and i have to start by saying thank you for coming. when you're a writer you're in a cave writing and you go, oh, my
7:08 am
god. i get to come out of the cave and see people and i really appreciated. i'm going to whip through a little faster than normal because last time i played was in england, and they are more long winded so they have to do it and i had more time. so i will do that but i can't begin without saying to doctor caplan, i find it interesting that homer lea had aspirations of becoming the commander of the chinese army. and the man who jacks service was assigned as a political advisor, general stilwell. washington he cooked up this ide should become the commander of all allied forces including the chinese forces of the nationalists and the communists in 1944. and that very humiliating message that was given was delivered by none other than john service because he spoke fluent chinese and had been born
7:09 am
and raised there. so there's a very good reason for us tiny these stories together, i think. and i have to start by just telling you that jack service and i were friends, and here's proof of it. this is in 1980 on the wall in beijing, the great wall. but we met first at stanford university in 1976 when i came back from two of my first film in china. keep the lights up even though, you know, i don't need to see myself there. but anyway, we met at a conference in stanford on the hot topic who should america recognize red china? we don't remember at the time, we didn't. but there was a bamboo curtain from the end of the war. now we -- can you see me? all right. that's the cameras on worrying
7:10 am
about. tv gets in my head and gets out of the way. but anyway, we were friends. his wife came up at this coffee break to introduce herself because she liked my work on tv. i anchored at cbs in san francisco and they've seen my documentary. then she introduced me to her husband who i studied a little bit about that college and my jaw drop because he was really an important figure in american history. out of that first meeting we developed a professional relationship, and then a personal relationship. and s. rose said, they let me read their oral histories when they were still under wraps to the public. i vowed i would someday do this book that i finally have done. it is my fate to have done this but because in 1978, we were together when the announcement was made of a formal diplomatic relations between u.s. and china. and jack service on a bottle of champagne to toast of the people in the friendship of the u.s.
7:11 am
and chinese people, and that's when he first started telling me about his experiences talking with mao zedong in the case of the guerrilla headquarters behind japanese enemy lines, and have transient said to him he wanted a good relationship with the u.s., and didn't want a civil war and wanted the u.s. businessmen to help rebuild china after the war. and he said that he said to mao, american businessmen will be very leery of you communists, these capitalistic he said what we worried about that. we thought of changing our name. but we thought once they got to know us. so he was sending reports back to washington about this. however, he is way off in the boondocks, and mao urged him to go back on the flight became every two weeks to chongqing and make sure that message got to the u.s. and he said it was a mistake. he never did it.
7:12 am
and he said he sent it by code and it sat and gather dust on a desk in chongqing for a couple of months and momentous things change to get into that anymore. what i want to say to you even though he was my friend i'm a trained investigative reporter. it took me four years to get access to his fbi and state department security files under freedom of information act. and i learned things that jack service never know. and i learned things that jack service chose to forget. and one of the most important things i learned is how and why he had become a scapegoat for the convergence of international and domestic forces. and not just tick off a couple of them and i promise we'll get into the show until with the slides. at some of the things that were coming together at the same time at this cataclysmic moment in history where the rivalries and bitter ms. -- bitterness between
7:13 am
the democrats and republicans in america, the soviet union which had been our wartime ally would all of a sudden becoming our new inning as their tanks were rolling across eastern europe at the end of the war in europe while the war in asia was still going on and everybody expected it would go on for at least another year. he also became the scapegoat for a nasty rivalry inside the beltway between hoover's fbi and the justice department. and between influence peddlers inside washington and washington insiders who wanted to protect their own river in. i don't think any of this sounds relevant to today, do you? [laughter] but before we begin i want to also tell you, it's also a love story involving john service and his loyal wife, and a beautiful chinese actress with whom he had a brief affair during the war.
7:14 am
and during the 50s when he became mccarthy's first victim, the nationalists secret police and intelligence agencies spread false stories inside the corridors of power in washington that he had fathered an illegitimate child by his soviet spy lover during the war even at that time the soviets were our allies. so i'm going to go ahead and ask you to go to the slides no, and we will see where it all began which is dashing his parent started the ymca in far southwest china. that's where he was born and raised by his ymca missionary parents. and this is how you got there. it was three months of the river and then 250 miles round along in a sedan chair to get there. the family had to be very self-reliant. there were three boys and his
7:15 am
father learned to speak chinese, a lot of chinese -- a lot of the foreigners in china never learned to speak chinese. i don't know if homer did. he did, okay. but it is the only way you could really get out of the saran wrap and closer in these special enclaves of foreigners. and jack spent most of his life, he was homeschooled and then he went to a high school and then he went to oberlin and the met caroline scholz. he told her about the fascinating community of this international port and then he was going into the foreign service. and she agreed to mayor him and went across the ocean by herself. in 1933. and his first post was in a squalid backwater. she hated it but she had real culture shock but eventually they went to beijing. he studied formal chinese for three years and he was posted to
7:16 am
shanghai in time for the japanese bombing of shanghai, and by 1940 he helped supervise the evacuation of all american dependence. and he volunteered to go to the new wartime capital which was the third time the nationals had to move away from the japanese aggression up into the boondocks behind these big gorgeous. you may have heard of the gorgeous. they had these streets that are like stepladder street. they call them latter street. but even though the bombs are falling every day from japanese attacks he had to present his credentials and he had to borrow the have from british diplomats and staff it with newspaper to make it fit. there was a real question of how to fight the war in china. air war which would be fewer people would be hurt, quicker, corker.
7:17 am
or ground troops. we have had a few discussions about air versus war, ground. but this is how difficult it was to refuel a plane and why it was so critical that the precious cargo that was flown over the himalayan mountains want to 29,000 feet and were euphemistically called -- who got the supplies? it was at the ground forces or the air force's? they had to siphon out of these big drums into five-gallon, climb the ladder and pour them through a funnel in the wings of the airplane. the americans who were on that route would be very upset when he saw a lot of this applies on the black market in china and know that many of their compatriots in companions had died, windows icing on the wings and they crashed. by december of 43, jack headway
7:18 am
in 1940 before the u.s. entered the war after pearl harbor, but in 1943, december, there was a big powwow in cairo and is the first and only time fdr met john kai-shek. as greater present as roosevelt was, i as an investigative report have found that some things that i wish we could go back and change. one of them was come he never let facts get in a way of a good story when it came to this idea of four pillars. britain, russia, china and the u.s. it didn't quite work out that way, but his vision of the united nations did work out, and as you know yesterday, two weeks too late they decided to install and no-fly zone to help the people who are about to die. we will not go there now. anyway, he was very upset with
7:19 am
kai-shek who was supporting john service and in report he had been hoarding supplies to fight his rivals, rather than commit to stilwell's counteroffensive against the japanese. so roosevelt said this mustachioed fellow on the right whose name is patrick early. patrick earley had been hoover's secretary of war. he never fought a battle in his life, but homer lea new a lot more about military defense than pat harvey. but he went to try to convince jiang kai-shek. at the same time, john service for two years have been pushing to say we hear all these rumors of what's going on behind enemy lines in guerrilla territory controlled by the chinese
7:20 am
communist and we don't know how to it. they sound good that they're putting up an active fight against the japanese i like the nationalists. we've got to try and get americans observers in there to find out if it's really too. so finally again, jiang kai-shek didn't like john service because he was the messenger and he was the instigator of this thing called the dixie mission went to the other china. in 1978 when i was sitting champagne and john service is telling me about his talks with mao i'm like how might americans know we had relations with the chinese comments during world war ii? very few. because until nixon's historic handshake with mao 27 years later no one on either side talked about it at all. so jacked when come he was the only diplomat, and david barrett was in charge of the.
7:21 am
he was the government side of the thing, and they had talks with mao. is a young mao -- i don't have appointed but he's on the far right and across the table with a smile is john service. they had briefings by guerrilla commanders were coming in because there's going to be a big powwow there, and mao was spreading the word that we will cooperate with the americans. and the reasons the americans were interested in it and what the u.s. army sent jack was because they were in the area of china controlled and occupied by japanese forces, were as the nationalists had had to retreat to the southwest of the country and were nowhere near where the main forces were. it turns out that not only were they there to observe them and find out if they were strong enough and how effective they were, and jack was there to understand how they were able to have such strong morale and becomes organized when in other
7:22 am
parts of china carved up between warlords and japanese occupation forces and puppet forces in the nationalists, the inflation was horrible, the corruption was high, and here there was this vibrant society. and he wrote about and he predicted that if the nationalists did not go as far as the communist had in moderate land reform and economic reforms and giving people participation in a voice in the own government, that the chinese communists would become dominant player in china, and that the u.s. need to try to avert the coming civil war so that everyone could effectively fight against it, japanese. and these are of military members of the american group that included secret agents from the os as, the office of strategic studies. and i've got to start to go a lot faster because we're too much to try to do.
7:23 am
but unbeknownst to anybody in america, the oss had a secret plan to work with the communists to sabotage japanese operations in china. they had plans to outfit force of 25,000 guerrillas and give them guns and ammunition and radio so they could set up a network. and would have done done a few other things like that in other parts of the world, afghanistan and pakistan and things like that. so it keeps happening over and over again. john service was told by mao when he first arrived i want you to look around and we will talk. we both want to talk but let's wait a while. so it wasn't until a month later that they went and had these conversations. but he was told he could talk to anyone else he wanted to answer his questions. the americans sent men out in missions with the calmness behind japanese lines all the way to near beijing.
7:24 am
they came back and reported about this is for real, these folks are organized. meanwhile, during all this time john service had met a famous actress. and their friendship blossomed. they met on a public bus. it blossomed into a romance. he wrote to his wife and said, i want a divorce, i've fallen in love. the ambassador said to be a dam fool. lived with her if you must but it will ruin your career. you can't marry a foreign woman. meanwhile, pat harvey was there to try and help still will get his job got him recall because he believed jiang kai-shek rather than his own colleague still a. and he goes off to talk to the chinese communists because he's going to forge a political settlement for a coalition government. and he likens the dispute between the republic of between the chinese nationalists and the chinese communists to what happened in his home state of
7:25 am
oklahoma. he's a lawyer, and he said it's just like the democrats and republicans except the out of power republicans here, the communists, they have guns. so for many months he tried to forge this, but he doesn't understand the politics. he didn't even understand the culture. he called jiang kai-shek's wife madame scheck not knowing the last name comes for so it should have been switched. i think you can see in the eyes of jiang kai-shek and mao they are toasting, and here's his mustachioed master over on the side, but there was no chance for any kind of -- the chinese nationalists were not allowed to give the timing is any real power in a power-sharing coalition government. and jack service was pragmatic. he said he just wanted it so there was this fig leaf if you will so we could deal with both
7:26 am
groups openly for america's best interest to preserve the effort against the japanese in the postwar world, no matter who won. this happened in august of 45, and by then jack service was headline news. this was a composite of newspapers through a number of decades. check service was frontline headlines because in 1945 he came back. he was recalled. to talk about his talks with mao, and i have eight minutes left. and lo and behold he got, he was assigned to give background briefings to different government agencies doing work in china and trying to fight the japanese, and to journalists. he was urged by his higher ups at state department and the roosevelt right hand in china. he was invited to talk to this magazine photographer and he came back a man with a mission. he felt that the civil war was
7:27 am
going to break out if we couldn't beat the brokers to bring about some kind of way that we could do with both of them. and he is in this magazine editor of a journal called americium some of his report, and they were not about a military situation but about how mao was thinking about and what was going on and how they have been able to make their peasant revolution began. and unbeknownst to him the magazine editor was under surveillance by the fbi which it planted and illegal microphone in the room. it trapped jack service into a web of suspicion that lasted all of his life. hoover got upset with it. they rounded up six suspects, spies, even in your times had a headline from fbi seizes six
7:28 am
spies, doing a state department, secrets stolen. it ended up instead of being an espionage case, it turned into a stolen government document, simply to stop it in this age of wikileaks it doesn't sound so shocking that back then it was hugely shocking. and the idea that there were soviet spies was a whole new concept because of the worsening situation in europe. turns out that higher ups try to help jack, said you need a lawyer, and they called on the guy called tommy the cork corcoran. many of you in this area may note of it. tommy the cork interest in helping jack was his interest in covering their rear ends of the people at the white house and in the state department and in the justice department. and unbeknownst to anybody, good old j. edgar hoover had wiretapped tommy the cork's phone because the truman administration was very nervous about the old new dealers.
7:29 am
so it started in 45, and there were claims of coverups but it was always, jack was always able to prove that he was assigned after he was cleared by a grand jury on a 20 to nothing vote, they didn't press charges against him. he was sent to tokyo to be on macarthur's staff. this is not what you do with someone who is not very competent or might be doing something illegal. hoover didn't like that at all, and he said that the case against the six was airtight unless they had to prove intent. excuse me, you always have to prove intent if you're going to find someone guilty. but he didn't give up on it, and lo and behold by 1950 after the soviets had detonated their atomic bomb and shocked the world and we found there were atomic spies, he gave a lot of
7:30 am
information, leaked information to mccarthy who leaked it to the press and started this spies and timing is a chance in the state department. and he gave a speech that many of you may have heard of in west virginia in february of 1950. and he said he had the names of 250 card-carrying communists in the state department. he only named for people, and one of them he singled out was john stuart. -- john sawers. service in official reports back to state, urging that we torpedo our ally jiang kai-shek and stayed in unqualified terms adequate that communism is the only hope of china. later this man john service, and please remember that name, ladies and gentlemen, was picked up by the fbi for turning over to the time is secret information. strangely however he was never prosecuted.
7:31 am
today ladies and gentlemen, this man service, is on his way to represent the state department in calcutta by fareway the most important post in the far east. john service and his family at that moment in time were on a freighter on the way to the new post in india, and on the way to japan there at dinner with the captain and the regiment comes in and says he joining john service? he says yes. he said well, you better come up to the radio them. there's some center talking about you. that's how he found out was going on through this scratchy shortwave radio. and from the ship when they landed them when they landed in yokohama he got a cable from the state department saying come back for consultations, beside what to do with the family. they can proceed to india or they can return with you. if they perceive they will be on travel expense of the governed. if they came back they wouldn't. so they decided family would go
7:32 am
on and hopefully he could clear this up in a couple of weeks. maybe he could fly to india and. on the dock a month later when the family got there. but from yokohama, his wife wrote a letter to her parents, and i just want to quote a little bit and honest, i'm almost done. this should be the final foray for jack's bitter enemies, and everything should be at last cleared up and the insinuations and allies and cruel persecution and a terrible thing of accusing a man is something he did not do and then never giving them a chance to defend himself should be over, caroline wrote her parents. we have had five years of it and that is enough and too much. all because he and others had the courage to report the truth from china. if only we were still in washington, all this should have been cleared up then. here we sit in the pacific ocean able to do absolutely nothing, caught between the sea and the
7:33 am
lies. so off jack gogarty gets caught up in this oral bold loyalty investigation by the senate committee, another round of loyalty investigation by the state department and he gets cleared by all of them. his family is left in limbo for more than year in india. under freedom of information act, i got access to those transcripts and some of them are in the book, "honorable survivor: mao's china, mccarthy's america and the persecution of john s. service" in which it is clearly indicated that his alleged affair with a soviet spy is the real reason why they were going to order him, order secretary acheson to fire him and not the reasons that together. but he fought all the way, he this is the supreme court.
7:34 am
he couldn't get a job. they wouldn't convert his insurance. the owner of a private company gave him a job making international steam traps. and he ended up inventing a better steam trap. but finally seven years later he won in the supreme court. he got his job back, but the anti-communist politicians, data mover in the fbi and the secret police, the nationalists neutralized his career. and eventually though he left, took early retirement, i found it was a secret memo in his personnel file saying that because of this embarrassing incident with the editor back in 45 whenever he was up for promotion, hb taken into account even though we never found them disloyal, but when nixon decided it would be better for the united states interest of better relations with the chinese as a counterweight to the soviet union, the chinese invited john
7:35 am
service back before nixon as a signal they wanted better relations with the u.s. so after the nixon handshake, john service was again considered a major political specialist on chinese affairs, and he was given many, many honors and honorary degrees. and here's -- here he is in his robe next to him is his wife. and next to her is the actress. this took place in california and if you want to know how it ended like that, i'm afraid you'll have to read the book. [laughter] and i would also like to just let you know that you can find a lot of these pictures on my webpage, webmac honorable they are selling the glorious past and whatever the chinese comments are interested in better relations with the u.s. they will talk about the great old spirit days.
7:36 am
and now you can go there and with the new socialist economy with chinese characters, you can rent old world war ii communist army uniforms and put your kids in front of an idealistic picture of mao. and so i thank you for your attention, and i'm delighted to be here and hope that you go to the webpage and take a look at some of these other photographs that i haven't had a chance to show you. there's some chapters from the book and i would love it if you want to buy the book. [applause] >> now i think we'll take questions from the audience, please raise your hand and then the volunteer will hand you the mic. >> i had a question for dr. kaplan.
7:37 am
[inaudible] >> he was an avid reader but his book of course was not fiction, but he was an avid reader and he read a lot of science fiction and he did read fiction. but i would say this, if you fly with american strategic policies, there was a naval officer that was our first real strategic, its focus on the navy. homer lea, his book the power of ignorance was the great treatise written in american. he talked a lot about land warfare but even though he wasn't a real army officer he had his picture and his general uniform in the front of the book.
7:38 am
people thought that it was written especially because at the introduction by these two former american generals. it became like the bible of army officers in america. i don't know if i answered your question exactly he was a pioneer if you will rather than piggybacking. his work was considered the first of the series works talking about war between america and china. excuse me, america and japan. so when claire booth's was fascinated and resurrected him there were other people that wrote fictional pieces, articles and the like about fictional wars in that period. but homer lea wasn't talking about fiction. he was talking about reality. and that's a little different. either way, his books have been digitized and they are on the internet if you're interested in reading them. upon the same lines, i just started a website recently where i am putting some of his
7:39 am
writings that you can't find anywhere else. so if you're interested in reading about tranninety geopolitical thinking, you can look at his books and you can look at the articles on my website. >> any other questions from the audience? yes, please. >> would you say that john service has been fully rehabilitated at this point? and if so, if not what did we learn from it in terms of where we are today, you know, in the whole political international sphere, particularly as it relates to china? >> good question, thank you. i won't go as long as i would like you, rose, i promise. >> take your time.
7:40 am
>> he continues to this day to be a lightning rod of controversy. there's been in the last decade some revisionist history about good old joe mccarthy. one of the things that i should mention is the unknown of files, has anyone heard of the venona project? the u.s. was worried that the soviet union my pursue a separate peace with the germans because they already had one piece treaty with them. so they decide to try to crack the code between moscow, washington and new york. it took them until 1946, a very difficult code what they discovered was there was no talk of peace, but there was a lot of evidence of the aggressive effort on the part of the soviet union to recruit spies in the government and in technological fields and that's how the way we found the soviets atomic spies
7:41 am
was through venona but it was so top secret, it was only released in 1995, that we never do. the soviets knew because those that were in washington for them. but anyway, the point being jack got kind of caught up in that even though he wasn't involved in that. but there was evidence of soviet spy rings in the u.s. and the truman administration was trying to back all that soft on communism claims of the republicans actually had effectively countered this and gotten people out of government. there's an excellent book done by the chief counter espionage agent from the fbi about that whole thing, robert lengthier is his name. but people -- joe mccarthy, there was fire where there was smoke but by the time he came
7:42 am
down the pipe, the problems are pretty much been taken care of. but there are people on the conservative side of the political spectrum who still believe, and i am aghast that there was a review done in the american foreign service association magazine of a book by m. stanton evans about mccarthy was right all a long, in which the reviewer, a former diplomat, says and what will interest you retired diplomats the most is that it talks about john service and john davis and john carter vinson, and that they really were soviet spies. iran at the got the book. i didn't buy. i sat there and thumbed through it and there's nothing where it says that, but this guy but that income and so i talked to jack's oldest son, robert service, retired ambassador robert service for me to the top rung
7:43 am
of the latter and help me convince his parents that i should do the book. his mother didn't want me to do the book. she was afraid it might damage his career, but afterwards -- anyway, bob and i worked out a draft of a letter to the editor of the magazine about this audacious slanderous thing, and bob said in. and they publish it but they left off his punch line. they censored his letter. so yes, he still has this era, you know, this aura of controversy around him, but by and large most people who know about him on them. and i think it might be appropriate today, i just won this nice weather rose major from the american academy of diplomacy and on the certificate i got it says it was for this book about john service, unjustly pilloried for his efforts to carry out what
7:44 am
foreign service officers are recruited to do, observed, report and analyze developments carefully and honestly, and make recommendations based upon their findings, even when higher ups might not welcome these. fdr thought that the mustachioed master, hurley, he said to his son once, boy, i wish i had more pat hurst if there's anyone who can solve the internal political province of china, pat hurley can do that. i think he did more to destroy the opportunities that we might have had. a lot of people, historians have debated, was there a window of opportunity with the chinese communists in those times. jack service, his argument was come he keeps saying he wants a cooperative effort, he wants to fight with us. let's give him a chance.
7:45 am
let's find out, because no matter who wins the civil war in china, it's too important for america not to be able to have relations with them. and instead we had 27 years of bitter relations. and, finally, in 1973 john service was honored along with the other old china hands who had been so persecutors who was the only one who is able to get his case into the legal system and fight it to the supreme court the a lot of the others just were fired and resigned, and some of them, you know, had very, very tough lives. anyway, in his speech the historian was the keynote speaker but he was asked to speak on behalf of all the old china hands. he said something that i think i wish we which is emblazoned all over the foreign policymaking community here. he said to them, foreign service
7:46 am
reporting becomes vital as we move toward countries that may be small, less developed, nonwhite, or with cultures and institutions drastically different from our own. if we keep ourselves in ignorance and out of touch with new popular movements and potentially revolutionary situations, we may find ourselves again missing the boat. >> any other questions from the audience? well, on that note i think we can all learn from homer lea story and john service, and hopefully we will be on the right side of the history concerning china from this point on. [applause] mac for more on this and other festival programs, visit
7:47 am and search for virginia festival of the book. >> grace elizabeth hill, in your book, "a nation of outsiders" you devote a whole chapter to j.d. salinger and the "catcher in the rye." why? i think salinger is interesting because he is a character is really the first extremely popular rebel figure who really comes from an elite police upper-middle-class background in this postwar period. he is not alienated because of his race or because of his class background or because he decide to be able he mean. he's a prep school dropout. he said resident of a fairly nice new york apartment, and this is really a dying of a new kind of rubble. >> what was the effect of that book in 1951? >> it was really huge.
7:48 am
the books stop was very different from a lot of published fiction at the time. it was a kind of almost bratty sort of dialogue style that really caught the eye of young people, people of all ages but especially younger people. and the book really made quite an impression on readers at the time, really throughout the '50s and into the '60s, today as well for that matter. >> subtitle of your book, how the white middle class fell in love with the rebellion postwar america. besides j.d. salinger's "catcher in the rye," what other rebellious figures are there? >> in the initial postwar period, white middle class folks were really attracted to a host of different figures that the experience, mostly through popular culture through television, through magazine reading, "life" magazine especially. those sorts of venues. and also the movies. so particularly in the '50s
7:49 am
rock 'n roll, the birth of rock 'n roll, particularly folks like elvis presley, certainly a huge favorite of young people and some older folks as well across the country who really made a name for himself acting very deliberately putting on a performance of blackness, of blackstone, black dress styles of black musical styles. though he was of course why. and other figures followed him. of rock 'n roll would be one place that he fell in love with rebels are also movies, james dean of course rebel without a cause, became a kind of catch phrase for the rebels of the air. that phrase would certainly apply to holden caulfield as well. these are folks who don't have a political problem. they don't have a class problem, but they're alienated all the same. so all of dean's movie, marlon brando, the wild one for exemplary makes that wonderful line, young waitress, ask them
7:50 am
which are rebelling against, and he says what you've got? so those are places you should rebels and then also looking it becomes more popular at the time. "life" magazine does a great job of bringing people from the sort of fringes into middle-class homes across the country and for people are able to pick up their "life" magazine and look at pictures of beatniks and meet writers like -- and folks are probably wouldn't have known that much about unless they happen to be interested in the art world or in poetry specifically but most middle-class white americans wouldn't have known that much about. >> william f. buckley is the ultimate outsider? >> well, he is a really interesting figure because he goes to yale in the late '40s. he is at yale and he would not have been an outsider most places in america, but he really feels very much that he is at
7:51 am
yale because he believed the liberalism of professors really dominate not just the campus but the academic offerings, that there is a kind of intellectual orthodoxy at yale that is constructed by these liberal professors, and that you really don't have much room to stray outside that. and he comes to school from a very conservative family, a family that half of it has roots in the deep south, and the other half not but a very conservative catholic white family with very conservative politics. and so he brings those politics with him to yale and feels very much that he is a rebel against that yale ivy league liberal culture. >> we've been talking quite a bit now about the '50s. what's the effect of all this, this white rebellion? >> i think it begins to grow in the '60s and people begin to
7:52 am
make them being interested in people they see as different or rebels into imagining themselves as rebels or outsiders also. and gc folks making that leap, particularly young white college students through the folk music revival. it's very important venue for that kind of thinking. people start out may be listening the kingston trio for even harry belafonte, and before you know if graduate elaborate of congress, scratch elaborate of congress recordings and other field recordings made it into before you know it bought a guitar into picking out songs in the bedrooms and thinking about how they can cast himself as a kind of folk music duo. and ultimate example of that, of course, would be bob dylan. but there are many, many other folks who don't become famous but who take their guitars to washington square park and sort of put on the folk and enjoy the music, try to find a way to play it and what they think of as an
7:53 am
authentic manner. and this leaves a lot of kids into new left politics. >> who are the new white people? >> well, i use that term because of the time in the '50s and '60s israel used pejoratively by southern traditionalist and segregationists. date code anybody who is interested, who is white who is interested in supporting the civil rights struggles of southern blacks, they are often called white negroes, southern sheriffs yell that at white activists, those kind of epitaphs are used, or writings to the student nonviolent coordinating committee folks, folk singers like pete seeger get hate mail calling him a white negro, so i'd use that phrase to describe those white, mostly middle-class folks who take up an interest in black culture in black politics really again starting with rock 'n roll
7:54 am
and then moving through the folk music revival and support for some of them support for civil rights organizing. >> who are the insiders? >> i think those would really be the ultimate outsiders today, wouldn't they? the people who claim the center would perhaps, or not a very large crowd would perhaps be the ultimate outsiders when you think about it. i think that we are really a nation that thinks about difference these days. i think that's one of the things that helped change, in the mid-20th century there's really a very powerful sense of white middle-class culture as a universal, way of life as the way almost all americans live or the normal, the way we should live. and this love of outsiders has a positive effect in helping people to see difference and recognize difference. it may be goes overboard but by the time yet george w. bush
7:55 am
running as an outsider for president, here's a man who went to an elite prep school in new england, harvard and yale. a graduate of both of those institutions. and yet he runs this very effectively as an outsider. so one of things i want to highlight is just how much that means our understanding of outside and inside center and margins has changed, if we can see something like george w. bush as an outsider. >> who do you consider to be outsiders today? >> i don't actually try to think about it in terms of who i think of as an outsider i'm interested in why people see themselves as outsiders and why they position themselves that way in public. so i think it's interesting that obama is one of the recent presidential candidates who really hasn't pushed himself were constructed a narrative as that much of an outsider, especially in his more recent writings and in his performance during the campaign. i think race has a lot to do
7:56 am
with the. he's trying to downplay his differences as an african-american and is one of the more recent successful candidates for president who really didn't pursue a kind of narrative as an outsider can think of bill clinton ran as an outsider. we mention george bush. so i think that's interesting. a group that is very much working the outsider shtick today would be the tea party here very, very energized by that sense of opposition to a kind of corrupt mainstream america that's gone astray. >> how did you grow up, white middle-class? >> i did. >> were you attracted to outside causes? >> i think it's really hard to be a young person in america since the '50s, especially since the era of holden caulfield and not see herself as an outsider. and certainly i was attracted to the.
7:57 am
i went off to college from atlanta, suburban atlanta where i grew up to the university of georgia which at that time was breaking out with all kinds of crazy bohemians and musicians, rem was playing for free and venues around time. people thought it was the music capital of the nation. so yes, i certainly enjoy that, and certainly took part in it. >> what do you teach your at the university of virginia and? >> i teach 20th century u.s. cultural history and the history of the u.s. south, and they work for the history department as well as the american studies program. >> how did you get into that area of study? >> one of my daughters says mom come you're the greatest job in the world. you get to watch movies all day. i said if you live your life correctly, someday you can have this job as well. in all seriousness, it really is a wonderful joy to be able to spend your time reading 20th century literature and poetry
7:58 am
and watching films and listening to music. at all pashtun always been interested in the period. i haven't really want at the decade company the century yet. >> professor, what at the end of the semester do you want your students to take away from your class? what do you want people to take away from trendy and? >> i want my students to take away the ability to think historically and critically about the category they use to make meaning in their everyday lives, to think about ideas and concepts as having history and not just people or nations. so for example, if we're going to talk about racism i want them to be able to understand that doesn't mean the same thing in 1860 as it does in 1890 as it
7:59 am
does in 1960. that is a concept that changes over time, and the concept of racial identity as well changing over time, that would be one example. i want them to be able to think about ideas and concepts and categories as having a history also. so folk are example doesn't mean the same thing across time and space but i think it's interesting to think about those kinds of things. >> this is the book on bush by oxford, "a nation of outsiders." it's grace elizabeth hale second book, subtitled how the white middle-class fell in love with rebellion in postwar america. >> may 1 in depth your questions for university professor and cofounder of reason magazine. ..


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on